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Honeybees can detect lung cancer, researchers claim

Honeybees can detect lung cancer, researchers claim
Honeybees can detect lung cancer, researchers claim


What happens when you combine bees and bad breath? A new way to save lives Cancer ScreeningAccording to one study.

Researchers at Michigan State University have discovered that honeybees can sniff out chemicals in human breath that are linked to lung cancer. According to a study published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the bees were able to sniff out the human lung cancer biomarkers with an astounding 82 percent success rate.

“These results suggest that the honeybee olfactory system could be used as a sensitive biological gas sensor to detect lung cancer in humans,” the study authors write.

“Insects have an incredible sense of smell, just like dogs,” MSU professor Devajit Saha said, according to an MSU news release.

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Saha, an assistant professor in Michigan State University's College of Engineering and Institute for Quantitative Health Sciences and Engineering, wanted to find out whether honeybees could distinguish between chemicals in the breath of healthy people and those in the breath of sick people. lung cancer.

A honey bee (Apis Mellifera) sits on a wooden spoon at Winnie's Bee Farm in Melaka, Malaysia, May 17, 2024. (Photo by Annice Lyn/Getty Images)

His team developed a “recipe” for a synthetic breath mixture that included six compounds present in the breath of cancer patients, as well as a synthetic “healthy” breath mixture.

“Developing this recipe was painstaking,” says Elissa Cox, Saha's former lab manager. “We tested a mixture of lung cancer-causing synthetic substances and healthy human breath on about 20 bees.”

The researchers placed each live bee in a custom 3D-printed harness and attached tiny electrodes to its brain to measure its activity.

“We exposed the odor to the bees' antennae and recorded neural signals from their brains,” Saha says. “We saw changes in the bees' neural firing responses.”

Researchers have discovered that honeybees can detect small amounts of compounds that could indicate cancer.

“Honeybees can detect extremely small concentrations, which is a very powerful result,” Saha said. “They can distinguish tiny changes in the concentration of chemicals in their breath, in the parts per billion range.”

The bees were also able to distinguish between the artificial breath of lung cancer patients and healthy breath.

The scientists The research could lead to the development of a bee brain-based sensor that could be used to test human breath for the presence of lung cancer.

“It's amazing that honeybees have the ability to not only detect cancer cells but also to distinguish between different types of lung cancer cell lines,” says Autumn McClain Svoboda, a graduate student in Saha's team. “The future impact of this sensor is huge, as it could help patients receive a quicker diagnosis of their specific cancer, which is essential for the right treatment plan.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. According to the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, an estimated 235,580 people in the United States will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2024.

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Smoking is the main risk factor for lung cancer and is responsible for 80% of lung cancer deaths.

Early detection of high-risk lung cancer can reduce the chance of death by up to 20%.

Read more of this story Fox News.




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